« PrécédentContinuer »
home are convinced that, by the laws In this letter I have mentioned of nature as well as the higher law Jamaica only: for I am of opinion of Christianity, no man should be that Jamaica is the strong-hold of the property of another man, and slavery; and the reduction of this that no man is fit to possess another strong-hold would liberate every as his property. I heartily wish pros- slave that breathes under European perity to the planters: I have en- sway: great, therefore, is the imjoyed the society of many of them ; portance of the pertinacious reI have benefited by their kindness, sistance of Jamaica. I have long and partaken of their hospitality; tlmught, sir, and often expressed and, in return, I long to see them, my opinion, that Jamaica bondage as well as their slaves, free. I long may be well compared with Egyptian to see them free from tyrant custom bondage in the time of Moses. The < free from the fear which is inse. hearts of the planters are hardened; parable from that power which can they have hardened their hearts, so be tyrannically abused.
that they will not let the people go. I have known, and I have often read, Pharaoh and bis servants had many that at the season of Christmas there merciful warnings : for such would is always a peculiar dread of the each plague have proved, if it had rising of the happy slave population; taken away the hardness of their that they might shew their gratitude hearts; and then the overthrow of by cutting the throats of their bene the whole host would have been factors. Did not the angels, then, prevented. Many are the alarms include Jamaica in their song of which have made the planters trem“ Peace on earth, and good-will ble; but still they will not let the towards men?” Must not that sys people go; and when all the warntem be indeed unchristian, which ings which will be allowed are given, has made the dread of a Jamaica and without effect, tlien will all the Vespers fill all hearts, instead of host perish. that solemnly cheerful joy which the
Such are my fears. The crimes season should call forth ? Are even which our forefathers committed, in the harshest of British masters obliged peopling the colonies with Blacks, to double their guard, and increase cannot fail to be visited on their their vigilance, lest the commemora- children, unless they repent, and tion of Him in whom all the nations bring forth fruit worthy of repentof the earth were to be blessed, ance, and shew mercy unto thoushould be celebrated by their assas- sands, remembering the
many milsination ? Is not this a retributive lions to whom no mercy has been plague? And if, instead of keeping shewn. back all religious instruction (as was If
remarks useful, long done, and as I know to have I will add a few instances in proof been the case; endeavouring to keep of them. I remain, sir, your conthe slaves in the most brutal igno stant reader from your first Number, rance), the poor creatures had been
V.A. instructed as Christians, such fears would have been groundless. For, when the time comes that the owners of slaves truly endeavour to pro CHRIST AS A TEACHER mote Christianity among them when they do this for conscience sake_then they will be Christians To the Editor of the Christian Observer. indeed ; the Negroes will be treated The consideration of the manner in as Christians by Christians: and when which our Lord Jesus Christ supmen do unto men as they would that ported his character as a Teacher men should do unto them, there will sent by God from heaven, not only be no slave in the Christian world. tends to confirm the faith of be
lievers, but ought also to convince have known surely that I came out
There is this peculiarity in our nature distinct from any thing which
I would have told you." in the same manner that we should Speaking of the “ little ones,” he judge of any person who professed
their angels do always to come from a distant country but behold the face of my Father which little known, we shall be able to form a is in heaven.” He shewed that he correct opinion of His authority. We was acquainted with the nature of should expect such a one to speak the angels; they are as the angels the language of the country, to be of God in heaven; and that he able to describe its government and knew the limits of their knowledge. productions, and the habits and cusa He declared also the joy experienced toms of its inhabitants. We should in heaven on the repentance of a examine the consistency of his desinner.
scriptions, and should discriminate The Prophets and Apostles knew between what he said as the result of the will of the Father by the in- observation, and what he might despiration of the Holy Ghost, to scribe as the offspring of imagination, whose agency they ascribe all their or the result of communication. In Divine knowledge. Christ did not all respects Christ's mission bears ascribe his Divine knowledge to the the test. There was a consistency, Holy Ghost; but in those instances a perfect knowledge, and a simplicity in which he declares the Father's of narration, which proved that he will as the result of a revelation, really came from another country; it is as the result of an immediate that he described what he had seen, personal communication. He knew and heard, and done in heaven. With the will of his Father from hav- such an earthly ambassador we should ing been with him. Speaking of treat with confidence ; enter on the his disciples, in prayer to his Father, object of his mission with willingness;
I have given unto them and if it presented any advantage to the words which thou gavest me; our future interests, we should not and they have received them, and hesitate in accepting his offers. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 360.
says that «
ON THE SUPPOSED FAILURE OF SUN
Were men as wise for another ing the Scriptures to them, and teachworld as for this, they would with ing them prayers and hymns, were a equal confidence receive the mission partof the Sabbath-day's employment of Christ; for what could have been of the careful mother; anda delightful done to prove that he came from and beneficial employment it doubt. God which he did not do ?
less was. But now these children are sent to the Sunday-school. The parental duty is passed off to a stranger, and whether the child is
really at school or about the streets DAY-SCHOOL INSTRUCTION. cannot always be known. It was also To the Editor of the Christian Observer. sionally to examine these children,
the practice for the minister occaIn reply to the inquiry as to the which gave a wholesome stimulus, causes of the supposed failure in the both to them and their parents. But good effects expected from Sunday- the practice of sending children of school instruction, I answer, Because this class to our Sunday-schools has Sunday-schools are not what they had on the community this ill effect, were, nor what they should be. that it has well nigh banished the
They are not so, as to the objects very poor from them. at present embraced by them. When It was formerly the practice also, Raikes formed his first Sunday- and a most wholesome practice, for school, it was among the poor; the the country minister to assemble the poor only; children, perhaps filthy poor children of his parish, either in and half clad, whose parents could the church or the vestry, between not or would not instruct them, or the morning and afternoon service, take them to a place of worship; and to catechise them. Now so far as who were consequently neglected, Sunday-schools under the present and left to wander about the obscure system have superseded pastoral and parts of our towns and cities cor- parental religious instruction and rupting each other, and giving pain discipline on the Sabbath, and have to the more religiously disposed part been diverted from the proper objects of the community.
of such friendly interference, to reFrom this class spring a large spectable and well clothed and eduportion of our agricultural labourers, cated children, so far have they and persons employed in manufac- been an evil. No one can suppose ture. And these are the proper, and while things are thus managed, or I think ought to be the exclusive, ob- mismanaged, that great ardour for jects of Sunday-school instruction. promoting education should be found But are they so? Observe the teachers to co-exist with an increase of crime and children of schools connected in proportion to the increase of a with churches, chapels, and meetings poor, unemployed, and in fact unas they parade the streets from school instructed, population : for those to the place of worship. Are the lat- who are instructed in Sunday-schools ter the poor and neglected children would for the most part be so withof our population ? Do the former out them, while the proper objects of appear of that class whose principle such institutions are for the most of self-denial could endure the task part in reality as untaught as ever. of instructing, and disciplining into Then as to the course pursued with order, the unruly neglected children regard to those who do attend, I of the really poor?
might mention, among other defects, Formerly the children of respect that the attention is chiefly directed able persons were taught at home by to the over-excitement of the memory. their own parents. In order to in- To the mere committing to memory struct them in the principles of reli- considerable portions of Scripture gion,catechising, reading, and explain- are sacrificed the far more import
THE BISHOP OF SALISBURY ON
ant objects of informing the mind, nians and Unitarians, in opposition and endeavouring by the blessing of to the doctrine of the Trinity, on God to impress the heart. The most the authority of a tract which he vicious child in the school, if he can anxiously and deliberately suppressrepeat the largest number of verses, ed*. Dr. Brewster, in his
intvo often carries away rewards, teresting Life of Sir Isaac Newton, and on public occasions is put forth published in a recent volume of the as a prodigy. These things ought Family Library, has, it is much to not so to be ; and while they are so, be regretted, done the same injustice Sunday schools cannot but fail of to the memory of Sir Isaac by his producing the important ends which re-statement and revival of the gewe desire, and, through the Divine neral contents of the suppressed blessing on the use of the prescribed Dissertation on the controverted means, might confidently expect verse of St. John, and by omitting from them.
to notice Sir Isaac's suppression of the tract.
The revival and re-statement of
these abortive criticisms is injurious I. Newton's SUPPRESSION OF HIS to the memory of Newton, because DISSERTATION ON I John v. 7, &c.
it omits to notice that the tract
which contains them was delibeFor the Christian Observer.
rately and anxiously suppressed, (We lately noticed a work, by the and never published by him, though Bishop of Salisbury, in reply to he lived nearly forty years after the Miss Baillie's remarks on the person date of its suppression. He died in of our Saviour. Since that tractate 1727. was published, his lordship, with The criticisms were founded on his well-known zeal and anxious an erroneous assertion of Father vigilance in regard to whatever Simon, in his Histoire Critique, relates to the great doctrine of our that the ancient Fathers generally blessed Lord's Divinity, has penned a interpreted what is said in the eighth few pages in reference to some obser verse of “the Spirit, the water, and vations, connected with the subject, the blood,” allegorically of the Triin another recent publication; and, nity. This assertion was refuted, his remarks being allied to the dis- and the seventh verse defended, by cussion in his Letter to Miss Baillie, Smith and Ittigius in the year
1690. he designs them to form an appen- In the early part of this year, or in dix to that work. The sheet having the year preceding, the criticisms fallen into our hands, we present it were written. They were sent to with much pleasure to our readers; Locke in November, 1690, for puband those of them who have pur- lication, and recalled and suppressed chased the Letter of the venerable in 1692, after the refutation of Siprelate to Miss Baillie, may thus be mon's assertion by Smith, Ittigius, enabled to fulfil his lordship’s inten- and others. tion by making a reference to this In the general statement of the addendum in their copy. These im- criticisms it is asserted, that the seportant facts and arguments will be venth verse had its origin from found highly interesting, even to the allegorical interpretation of the those biblical scholars who may not eighth verse by the Latins, among think them conclusive in regard to the authenticity of the remarkable
• In a letter to Mr. Locke, he says, text on the heavenly witnesses.]
“Let me entreat you to stop their transThe name of Sir Isaac Newton lation and impression as soon as you can, has been lately* employed by Soci- for I design to suppress them : " and in
another letter, “I am glad the edition is * See Dr. Henderson's Mystery of stopped.”—Lord King's Life of Locke, Godliness, p. 3.
vol. 1. pp. 409, 415.
whom Simon asserted it was gene. prove them one." There was no rally prevalent. So far is this asser. want of proofs in abundance from tion from being true, that there are Scripture of the unity of the three very few of the Latin Fathers (and Divine Persons. And we know from none of the Greek) who so interpret Augustine, the author of the mysthe eighth verse. This interpreta- tical interpretation, that it was tion is not found in the writings of proposed by him, not to prove the Tertullian or of Cyprian, who lived doctrine of the Trinity, but to debefore the time of Augustine; or of prive unbelievers in that doctrine of Jerome, who was his contemporary; an argument against it. or of Victor Vitensis, Cassiodorus, “With the same view” (says the or Fulgentius, who lived after him. statement, that is, to prove the FaAugustine was certainly the first ther, Son, and Holy Ghost to be who applied the allegorical sense to one) “ Jerome inserted (the verse the eighth verse; and even he un- respecting] the Trinity in express derstood it literally to mean the hu- terms." This is a most gratuitous man spirit which Christ yielded into assertion, without the slightest authe hands of his Father, and the thority from history or tradition ; blood and water which issued from and contrary to Jerome's own most his side.
explicit testimony that his version Sir Isaac had no doubt of the au was a scrupulous and faithful transthenticity of the seventh verse, till cript from the Greek text. It is he was misled by Simon's assertion evident, too, from the general tenor respecting the general prevalence of of the Epistle and the context, that the mystical interpretation of the the object of the seventh verse is not eighth, and his consequent suppo- to prove the unity of the three sition that Cyprian's words were heavenly witnesses, but the Diviquoted from the eighth. · These nity of Christ by their united testiplaces of Cyprian " (says Sir Isaac) mony. Inattention to this distinc“ being, in my opinion, genuine, tion has, I think, been a principal seem so apposite to prove the tes cause of opposition to the seventh timony of the Three in Heaven, verse. that I should never have suspected “ In the twelfth and following a mistake in it, could I have re- centuries, the fJerome's] variations conciled it with the ignorance I began to creep into the text in transmeet with of this reading in the cribing.” The whole of the seventh next age amongst the Latins of verse is quoted many centuries before both Africa and Europe, as well as the twelfth, by Fulgentius, who was amongst the Greeks.” This notion very learned in the Greek language, of the ignorance of the fourth, fifth, and before him by the Fathers of the and sixth centuries he collected, by African Council, A. D. 484. inference, from the asserted preva The statement proceeds :
" After lence of the mystical interpretation, the invention of printing, it crept which I have before shewn to be out of the Latin into the printed unfounded. Indeed, the “absurd Greek.” It appeared first in the hypothesis," as Mr. Porson calls it, printed Greek text early in the sixof this futile, nugatory, and puerile teenth century; but it is found in interpretation (as it is called by two Greek manuscripts, now extant, Mill), is alone a sufficient warrant, of the fourteenth or fifteenth, or, that it could not have been generally according to Dr. Adam Clarke, of prevalent in the church.
the thirteenth. It was also in the In the statement it is asserted, Greek text of Bryennius, at least a that “ the spirit, the water, and the century before the first printed ediblood were interpreted by the La- tion of the Greek text. tíns to be the Father, the Son, After the general statement of and the Holy Ghost, in order to Sir Isaac's criticism on the verse,